Teachers do so much for our kids. During school hours, they often see a different child than the one we see at home, and notice both wonderful qualities as well as areas of growth. There will undoubtedly come a time when we may feel the need to speak with the teacher about a problem that our child is experiencing, whether at the teacher’s request or at our own. Here are six tools for making the most of a parent-teacher meeting.
As we make the move from summer back to school, it can be tricky to understand how we got the child with a specific misbehaviour. It’s as if this behaviour was handed to the infant just prior to the stork gathering up the bundle and dropping it in the cabbage patch for us to discover.
‘My child just won’t remember her lunch.’
‘My son will not practise the piano.’
‘I’m not sure how I got the kid who doesn’t do homework.’
Temperament plays a factor in every human. Statistically, one in four children will be a pleaser, two in four will go along with some motivation and the last one will fight things tooth and nail. If you happened to be blessed with a child in the latter category, it is going to take a great deal more structure and consistency to get through to that one. That’s what we call parenting.
At Parenting Power, we believe that kids are capable. Capable of meeting our expectations and of learning from their parents.
If parents declare the fact, ‘My daughter always forgets her lunch,’ they are correct. She will believe them. She will live that declaration passionately.
Parenting is about taking responsibility to expect our kids to be capable of learning and to encourage them with words and actions that say, ‘I know you can do this. I know you can learn and I’m here to teach you.’
For many kids, it is not until we expect them to practice piano, take responsibility for their stuff and/or do homework that it will happen. Then, we need to work with our kids to develop a plan for that to happen. If your child knows that all they have to do is create a big fuss about doing homework, or ignore it and put up with your ranting in order to get out of it, you have taught them well. You need to take the time to teach the right way for homework to happen (or clean up, or piano, or dishes or whatever it is in your house.)
We can choose to play the role of victim and claim that we just got the kid who won’t clean up. Or we can take responsibility for the situation and make a plan to teach our child how to clean up—and what the expectations and the consequences are. How will we teach this task? What amount of time do we need to work on this with our child? How do we schedule that?
This is real life parenting: communicating clearly, acknowledging feelings and using language that encourages our kids to do what needs to happen in real life. They don’t have to like loading and unloading the dishwasher. They need to know that complaining about it won’t make the task go away. Doing the task is what makes it go away…until tomorrow.
Need some help? We’re here.